I had an opportunity to speak with the authors of the new Mercatus Center report, "Freedom in the 50 States." Here's the audio:
As you're probably aware, Kentucky landed in the bottom half of the rankings among the states. The advice the authors gave to Kentucky policymakers was fairly simple:
- Tighten the rules for municipal-bond issuance and cut spending, particularly on grants to local school districts and employee compensation (repeal the prevailing-wage law), in order to retire debt.
- Reduce homeschool recordkeeping requirements to a simple record of attendance, like Indiana and Tennessee require.
- Dramatically raise contribution limits for grassroots PACs and individuals.
There is no immediately compelling reason why Frankfort should be charged with collecting and spending such a large share of the commonwealth's total government revenues. It serves to prevent local government innovation in the delivery of services since Frankfort plays a greater role in funding and therefore controlling the direction of local projects. It also means that localities receive muted incentives to compete for a greater share of area populations through varying tax rates, service provision and local amenities.